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4.0 von 5 Sternen No happy ending
This is an excellent account of the events leading up to the German army's biggest and most bitter defeat - the avoidable abandonment and slow death of an entire division at Stalingrad, a kind of Nazi Vietnam, although the well-chosen photographs could be of Kosovo, or any armoured conflict anywhere. Not so much an account of history as a vivid portrait of a nightmare...
Veröffentlicht am 28. Juni 2000 von Mr. A. Pomeroy

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3.0 von 5 Sternen Modestly detailed account, not a great book
Some previous reviews of this book have noted that this book can be looked at from different perspectives, depending on whether or not you have read other accounts of the Battle of Stalingrad. If this is the first or second book that you have ever read about the battle, the sheer horrific nature of this epic struggle, the enormity of the human suffering, and the...
Veröffentlicht am 14. Februar 1999 von DarthRad


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4.0 von 5 Sternen No happy ending, 28. Juni 2000
Von 
Mr. A. Pomeroy (Wiltshire, England) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Stalingrad (Gebundene Ausgabe)
This is an excellent account of the events leading up to the German army's biggest and most bitter defeat - the avoidable abandonment and slow death of an entire division at Stalingrad, a kind of Nazi Vietnam, although the well-chosen photographs could be of Kosovo, or any armoured conflict anywhere. Not so much an account of history as a vivid portrait of a nightmare hell, 'Stalingrad' conveys the madness of a campaign in which Russian deserters fought for the Germans, German deserters fought for the Russians - a campaign in which those fighting had the choice of dying by enemy fire, or by a bullet in the head from a morale officer - a campaign in which the German army repeatedly smashed the hopelessly-led Russian forces, and still lost. The sorry tale is run through with a horrible sense of inevitability - anybody with a little WW2 knowledge knows how it all turned out, and the way that the pieces fall into place make you want to warn the people involved, somehow. By the time the German army is surrounded in the broken ruins of a frozen city, with the nearest help being increasingly fought all the way back to Germany, and supplies running low, whilst at home Hitler orders them to stand, fight and die, you will have learned a lot about human nature.
The lengthy battle itself was brutal and drawn-out, and the aftermath was not at all pretty - captured German wounded were simply executed, with the remaining soldiers being marched to death. Those who survived often faced a future in a communist East Germany that didn't really want them, or imprisonment - the thought of the German officers languishing in prison until well into the era of rock-and-roll seems jarring and odd.
Also of note is a decent film on the subject, 'Stalingrad', produced by many of the same team responsible for 'Das Boot'.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A Gripping, Well-Told Story, 6. April 2000
Von Ein Kunde
I've read several accounts of Stalingrad and for me this was the best. Beevor gives you the necessary strategic events and context, but his main purpose is to present the battle from the grunts' view and he succeeds marvelously. His description, for example, of the first encounter and conversations between Germans and Russians when the latter arrive ostensibly to seek the Sixth Army's surrender was memorable. I was also impressed with his research into the anti-Stalinst Russians who fought with the Germans (the "Hiwis"); this was the most extensive coverage I've seen of that issue. Finally, Beevor completes his work with a account of the sad fate of the German prisoners, most of whom succomb to disease and starvation, while their officers, given something akin to VIP treatment by the Soviets, bicker over trivialities like possession of eating utensils.
In short, I really enjoyed this book (if that's the right word for such a horrendous tragedy as Stalingrad) because of the authors' concentration on the fate of the individuals involved. You can get the strategic and military analysis elsewhere, but for a close look at what it all was like for the soldiers on the ground on each side, I highly recommend this book.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Schicksalsschlacht im Osten, 18. Dezember 2008
Von 
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
Entgegen der öffentlichen Wahrnehmung war Stalingrad nicht die Schlacht, die die militärische Wende im Krieg gegen die Wehrmacht brachte. Aber beide Seiten hatten Stalingrad zum Symbol hochstilisiert, und mit dementsprechender Verbitterung wurde der Kampf geführt.
Es gibt viel Literatur zu diesem Thema. Vom Roman über Augzeugenberichte bis hin zu Aufzählungen von Zahlen, Daten und Fakten ist alles verfügbar. Wer sich also dafür interessiert hat keine einfache Wahl zu treffen.
Antony Beevor hat eine der besten Stalingrad-Darstellungen geschrieben, faktenreich, strukutriert, umfassend und obendrein gut lesbar und spannend - warum kriegt das eigentlich kein deutscher Historiker hin? Ich schätze alle Werke von Antony Beevor und kann auch "Stalingrad" jedem empfehlen, der sich für diese Schlacht interessiert. Jetzt müßte Beevor noch ein Buch über das Unternehmen "Zitadelle" schreiben - die Schlacht bei Kursk. Das war nämlich die Operation, die die deutsche Wehrmacht wirklich in die Defensive gebracht hat.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A well-written account of this infamous battle., 15. Juni 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Stalingrad (Gebundene Ausgabe)
For history lovers everywhere, Stalingrad will not disappoint. I especially enjoyed the graphic details of the hardships of soldiers, both Germans and Russians, and marveled at the style in which Antony Beever was able to portray this information. Citing from genuine eye-witness accounts, confiscated letters and various historical documents, Beever is able to come up with a grinding tale of life during the siege of Stalingrad. Accurate insistence on detail completes a stunning portrait of this most horrific battle, and the page by page drama unfolds into an epic chronicle that could not be told in a better way. Stalingrad is easily depicted as the taproot of the turning point of World War II history. I highly recommend this novel.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Death in Der Kessel, 9. Juni 2000
Von 
Richard P. Mayhew (Silver Spring, MD USA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
As I read this book I kept wondering how it was possible that I had never heard of Mr. Beevor before, this is an outstanding piece of work. This book is a gritty no holds barred description of close quarters combat. A preliminary military sitrep of the eastern front is included but the strong suit of this book involves descriptions so vivid that you may find yourself scratching (I did) itches as you read about the lice and other vermin in the shattered city. Trained dogs carrying anti-tank charges, sniper battles, front line taunting, hunger, suicide, bravery, desertion (by both sides), punishment battalions re-supply attempts via the Luftwaffe are a sampling of topics covered. Mr. Beevors describes the strength and weakness of the weapons employed by both side, for example noting that the anti-tank cannon (PAK 37) used by the Wehrmacht and it's allies was so ineffective against the Soviet T-34 tank that it was refered to as the "door knocker". The Panzerwaffe firefights with Soviet women anti-aircraft gunners on the outskirts of Stalingrad in the fall of 1942 shocked the Germans as to the degree of fanatic defensive efforts the Soviets were going to employ in this battle. The city became symbolic in the battle of wills between Hitler and Stalin, each drew a line in the sand at this place, unfortunately for the 6th Army, Stalingrad became their burial ground. This book contains easy to understand maps and (paperback version) two sections of photos. The book offers a very close look Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus' dilemma between obeying orders and looking out for the well-being of the 6th Army. This battle was not lost by the soldiers of the Wehrmacht in Russia but rather by the Nazis in Berlin afraid to enlighten Hitler (the truth would have made no difference anyway) as to the real condition of the trapped army and offering false assurances that air dropped supplies could keep the force alive until rescue. This book offers a very graphic description of what happened to the 6th Army after the fighting ended, following the suvivors fates which more than often were short and violent. This book has some of the most intense accounts of urban combat that I have ever read, also some interesting quotes and observations, for example Paulus saying "I have no intention of shooting myself for that Bohemian corporal" or a Soviet officer yelling to a group of German POWs amid the ruins and carnage around them "that is how Berlin is going to look".
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5.0 von 5 Sternen CITY OF THE DEAD, THE NEAR DEAD AND DEADER THAN DEAD, 30. März 2000
Well written, easily understood chronicle of the German Sixth Army suicidal crusade into the jaws of the Stalingrad pocket in the dead of a fierce Russian winter. A balanced report of the suicidal efforts of German and Soviet forces to occupy the city named in honor of Stalin. The hardcover edition includes 30 dramatic photos and several situation maps, including locations of airfields on the outskirts of the city where Luftwaffe transports attempted round the clock deliveries of food, fuel, ammunition, medical supplies and winter clothing for 250,000 troops. We learn that the aerial logistics of supply was a utopian dream hatched by Goering, approved by Hitler and believed by commanding general Fridrich von Paulus. To fly in a minimum daily requirement of 800 tons would have required 427 daily flights of JU-52 transports, equivalent in todays terms of seven daily Boeing 747-200F cargo flights, each carrying 225,000 LBS. Because of lack of transports and bad winter weather, less than 10% of necessary supplies arrived. Troops dug into the ground and ruins of the city in -20F temperature were left hungry, short on ammunition and without adequate winter gear. Soldiers ate horses and some resorted to cannibalism, many froze to death. Equally suicidal were the tactics of the Soviets who used shock troops who would shoot the front line soldiers if they retreated from their assault on the occupied city. At great human sacrifice the Soviets eventually mangled their way into town. The author was unbiased in reporting successes and failures of either side. General Paulus it seems was the wrong commander for this job and he alone is to blame for the demise of the German 6th Army. He was nothing more than Hitlers poodle, a staff officer, not a battle experienced field commander, strategist, tactician. For the most part Paulus lacked a survival instinct, allowing himself to be boxed into a corner and cut off from the supply chain. Instead of tying up his panzer army inside the city, a smart commander would have used the tanks to fight off any encirclement, or to take the initiative to break out of the siege, making a partial withdrawal if necessary, irrespective of Hitlers barking orders to stay put. In Africa, for example, Rommel had used intelligent freedom of movement, advancing and retreating, all without reprimand. We learn that General Paulus was a coward, hunkered down in his HQ, the cellar of a department store, warm and well fed, he surrended only when Soviet soldiers literally knocked on his door; and he was driven into captivity with a fair amount of personal luggage. The author also devoted 35 pages to the aftermath; to the fate of prisoners; to Stalin propaganta politics; to squabbling and personality conflicts among some of the 23 general officers in captivity. There are no desperate situations, only desperate people; And dead people.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A Fantastic Book!, 10. Februar 2000
Von 
This is, quite simply, one of the finest novels I have ever read. The author chillingly describes the horiffic conditions faced by both the Russians and the 6th Army, and this book occupied my thoughts for weeks afterwards like no other book has ever done. Mr. Beevor is masterful in his description, weaving facts with personal accounts that puts the reader in the trenches. His access to previously closed Russian files on this brutal battle has allowed the author to write the finest story ever on Stalingrad. His story on Winrich Behr (who by the way is still alive today) I have found to be as unforgettable as the rest of the book. He vividly describes how the desperate situation has convinced the top leadership in encircled Stalingrad to fly out Capt. Behr, proud in his black SS Panzer uniform with Knights Cross. Behr is flown to see Hitler, to explain how a breakout from the Kessel must proceed immediately. Behr is warned on how Hitler tries to overwhelm his guests with the "overall" picture, and how his vast knowledge leaves little room for compromise. Behr is prepared when Hitler steps to the map, and shocked when Hitler quits talking and is attentive while Behr further protests the utter hopelessness of fighting on. Field Marshall Keitel, Hitlers sycophantic lackey, angrily shakes his fist at Behr when Hitler looks away, and then Hitler returns to the map, and produces phantom divisions to rescue the trapped 6th Army. It is then when Behr realizes the war is over. The only other book that compares to this in the horrors of battle is "The Forgotten Soldier" the story on a soldier in the Das Reich SS division who sees destrucion and death on the Eastern front, but this autobiography is not nearly as well written. I have read this book twice, and will enjoy it many more times. Superb.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Gripping account of a gruesome war, 8. Februar 2000
This book represents my first venture into war history and I initially approached it with trepidation as the subject, let alone the details thereof, was not familiar to me and I was afraid that I would get lost in the deluge of information presented by historians. Nevertheless, after going through the first two chapters, my fear was immediately allayed. Antony Beevor's gripping account of the Wehrmacht's ill-considered campaign against Russia, while it encompasses a huge cast of characters and a considerable geographical expanse, is so clearly written such that even a person who is unfamiliar with the various battles in the Eastern Front should be able to follow those fateful and often horrifying events without much difficulty. Indeed, such is the clarity of narration and conciseness of description that although there are very few maps in the book, one can still easily conjure up in one's mind's eye the various deployment of troops in those crucial operations by both sides. Furthermore, Beevor also has an eye for details and not only has he described and analysed the action and mentality of those who were in control of the war machine, the ordinary people and prisoners of war who were trapped in the war-torn Steppes are also not neglected, and the often vivid description of their plight has helped to enhance the impact of the tragedy on readers. Personally, I would prefer some more maps and photos (although, as I have said above, the paucity of illustrations will not hinder one's understanding of the subject matter through the text) and perhaps some more pages can be devoted to the street-fighting inside Stalingrad during the siege (which, after all, is what the title of the work appears to be pointing at). Nevertheless, Beevor has shown a masterful grasp of the subject matter and has created a work which would in particular appeal to those who do not possess much prior experience in war history. And despite its gruesome subject matter, the book does make a fascinating read.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Concise history of the great campaign and its aftermath, 20. Dezember 1999
Von 
Dennis J. Buckley (Harrisburg, PA USA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
Having read many works concerning Stalingrad, I suspect that we may be approaching the point where a definitive, detailed, multi-volume history of the great battle could be possible. Indeed, this should probably be attempted before the surviving veterans all pass on. That being said, this is a very acceptable single volume account of the Stalingrad campaign. It compares favorably with Craig's work, _Enemy at the Gates_.
One of the strengths of Beevor's work is his view of the Russian side of the struggle. This is attained through access to now available Soviet archives. It is also attained through the greater willingness of Russian veterans to speak of their experiences without the distorting rhetoric often associated with The Great Patriotic War. The candid discussion of desertion and outright collaboration on the part of some Russian soldiers forms one of the most interesting aspects of this book. Likewise, the fate of approximately 85,000 German soldiers who entered Soviet captivity never to return is treated with even greater detail than that revealed by Craig. Again, I suspect that Beevor enjoyed access to records-- and candor-- that Craig and earlier writers did not.
While I do not completely agree with all of Beevor's conclusions, he makes a convincing case for the primary responsibility of Paulus for the destruction of the Sixth Army through failure to maintain an uncommitted panzer reserve in the late fall of 1942. This failure on the part of a commander is too often ignored in works which blame the destruction of the Sixth Army on Hitler's "stand fast" order and von Manstein's failure to send a "breakout" order.
Students of the campaign should add this volume to their library.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Modestly detailed account, not a great book, 14. Februar 1999
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Stalingrad (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Some previous reviews of this book have noted that this book can be looked at from different perspectives, depending on whether or not you have read other accounts of the Battle of Stalingrad. If this is the first or second book that you have ever read about the battle, the sheer horrific nature of this epic struggle, the enormity of the human suffering, and the absolute evil willpower of the leaders (Hitler and Stalin) driving this struggle will be so overwhelming that the simple act of the telling of this tale will overcome most of the writing flaws in this book, and the book will probably be an interesting read for you.

However, having read several other accounts of this battle already, I have to agree with the majority of other reviewers in this situation that the book comes across as vaguely unsatisfying, and not particularly well written.

As with many of the other accounts of the battle, as the story progresses to the end stage battles, the viewpoints of the sources take on an increasingly Russian tone, probably because few survivors made it out of the German side. Details of the various end stage battles also become increasingly blurred and confused in this book and the focus of the book shifts mainly towards documenting the human suffering of both sides at the end of the battle, with the author putting a particularly strong emphasis on detailing the brutal efficiency of the NKVD punishment squads.

One final point - the author has an annoying habit of rather casually dismissing as nonfactual certain legends or vignettes that have risen out of the Stalingrad conflict, without giving any supporting information or documentation of his research. For example, he disses the legend of the sniper duel between Zeitsev and his German counterpart, and he also dismisses as a complete fabrication the entire book "Last Letters from Stalingrad". He presents these scholarly opinions as virtual truths, and yet gives no supporting evidence.
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